The Southern Utah University gymnastics team overcame Boise State University Friday night claiming their third win of the season by a score of 196.425 to 194.825 during SUU’s annual “My Cause Night.”
Morgan Alfaro, who wore yellow and blue ribbons during the meet to honor her mother who is a colon and sarcoma cancer survivor, kicked off the meet for the Thunderbirds by scoring a vault event high 9.875.
“Morgan is so insanely good at knowing where she is at the vault,” SUU head coach Scott Bauman said. “I know how much this meet means to her because last season, we weren’t sure if her mom was going to make it. It’s a blessing to be able to have her out in the audience another time and another time.”
All-around gymnast Karley McClain followed Alfaro with a score of 9.825.
The Thunderbirds completed their first event with a final score of 48.975. The Broncos finished just behind with 48.900.
On the uneven bars, Shylen Murakami dazzled the judges and the crowd with her routine. After a flawless landing, Murakami earned herself a 9.900, which was, up until that point, the highest score of the meet.
Molly Jozwiakowski made her uneven bar debut and finished with a 9.775.
“This was Molly’s first bar routine. In college. Ever,” Bauman said. “She’s a senior and has been practicing it every year. It was so much fun to put her in the event. She deserves a lot of props for it.”
Maddi Nilson led the way for the Broncos on the bars with a score of 9.850. Emily Muhlenhaupt followed with 9.825.
The Thunderbirds finished on the uneven bars and totaled 49.050 points while Boise racked in an even 49.000.
“Our girls seem like they try a little harder to do well, so that can translate right into the meet” Bauman said, “They stayed calm, they did their jobs, and they look great out there.”
Five Thunderbirds claimed the first five spots in the beam routine, with McClain and Hannah Nipp scoring 9.850 a piece. SUU finished the event with 49.000 while the Broncos managed a 47.775.
Hailey Vultaggio scored a 9.800 on the first floor routine of the night for the Thunderbirds. Aubri Shwartze landed a 9.850 and Jozwiakoski scored a 9.900, but in the end it was McClain who scored a meet high score of 9.925 with a remarkable routine.
Adriana Popp completed her evening during the floor event and also nailed a 9.900, giving her the highest score overall for the Broncos. They finished with 49.150 points.
“Going from event to event tonight, we really kept building the energy and the environment was great,” Jozwiakowski said.“Honestly, we do our best when we are relaxed and having fun.”
SUU will head to Provo to face the Brigham Young Cougars on Friday, February 5 at 7 p.m. The meet can also be streamed live on PlutoTV channel 1055.
Story by: Lainie Hallows
Picture by: Mitchell Quartz